Life's slow and easy in the small town of Ponder. At least, thats what the menu at the Ranchman's Café claims. And any place with a creaky screened door out front can't be all wrong.
Folks have been traipsing through the door since 1948 when Grace Pete Jackson first opened the Ranchman's (dubbed locally as the Ponder Steakhouse). Her down-home meals quickly won a regular following of appetites, and word spread to nearby Dallas and Fort Worth that her hand-cut sirloins, T-bones and chicken-fried steaks were well worth the drive. After her retirement, Pete sold the café but visited regularly until her death at age 93 in 1998.
At Ranchman's, the atmosphere is pretty laid back. Oh, there's a few rules. Checks are ONLY separated at the register, and if you want a baked potato with your steak, then you'll have to call ahead. Otherwise, pull up a chair to one of the vintage dinette tables. It's time to EAT.
If a grilled steak doesn't suit you, Ranchman's also serves quail, grilled chicken breast, ham, chicken strips, and a fine selection of sandwiches and burgers. And pies? Of course, the Ranchman's got those. Cobblers too.
On the front of the menu, a notice adivises that large print and Braille menus are available. Isnt that unusual for a restaurant? Owner Dave Ross explains, "My degree was in special education and speech therapy. So Im sensitive to the varied needs of different people. I always look for disabled people to give them opportunities to work."
And how many restaurants do you know that have a huge hand-painted mural above the entrance showing the early days of its hometown? Ranchman's Café has one. You cant miss it.
Any place with a creaky screened door out front and an owner like Dave has to be special, right? Stop by the Ranchman's sometime and see.